Safe Family Services We help youth, who are experiencing, or have experienced domestic violence. We also provide preventative services to parents and at-risk youth.

Providing safe family services to youth and parents.

There are many forms of domestic violence with different types of abuse, including physical, sexual, emotional, economic and stalking. Anyone can be affected on all levels and it is important to provide services that will empower youth to reach their highest potential.

Our Safe Family Services Program offers supportive services to Transition Age Youth (TAY), ages 18-24 years old, currently in an SDYS program, who have, historically, or are currently experiencing domestic violence. We also offer supportive services to at-risk youth, ages 11-14 years, through an evidence–based group curriculum (Dating Matters), which focuses on supporting youth’s social – emotional health, strengthening positive, nonviolent attitudes and behaviors, and promoting healthy relationships.

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Program Referrals

Sierra Winter
Safe Family Services Program Member 

Who can refer youth to Safe Family Services?

Youth can be referred to our services by San Diego Youth Services Staff and Volunteers, as well as community members. Please contact our team.

Dating Matters – Healthy Relationship Lessons

Program Details:

Teen girl talking to counselor

Children, currently enrolled in an SDYS program, ages 11 to 14 will be provided with supportive services through an evidence-based group curriculum, called Dating Matters. Dating Matters focuses on supporting youth’s social-emotional health, strengthening positive, nonviolent attitudes and behaviors, and promoting healthy relationships.

Dating Matters Program

Youth Programs: Prevention groups and activities for youth ages 11 to 14 years old focusing on the evidence – based curriculum Dating Matters.

Parent Programs: Provide support to all parents, including foster and adoptive parents with Dating Matters Parent Program Supports to build their knowledge and empower them to take action.

Training for Staff, Volunteers, and Youth – Serving Professionals: Offer Dating Matters: Understanding Teen Dating Violence Prevention Training for Educators to help staff understand the risk factors and warning signs of teen dating violence, as well as their role in promoting healthy relationships. 

Services Offered:

  • Dating Matters prevention groups and activities for youth
  • Dating Matters Parent Program support
  • Dating Matters: Understanding Teen Dating Violence Prevention Training for Educators
  • Support: Linkage to information and referral and community resources for service partners and their parents.

Who Can Refer: SDYS Staff/Volunteers, community partners

Eligibility Requirements: Youth must meet the age requirement, be at-risk, and currently enrolled in an SDYS program. For a full assessment of eligibility please contact Safe Family Services Permanency Navigator Sierra Winter at swinter@sdyouthservices.org

Youth Aged 18-24

Over the years of providing housing to TAY (transitional age youth), the need for healthy relationship services has grown. Safe Family Services offers supportive services and financial assistance to TAY 18-24 who are homeless or at risk of homelessness and experiencing domestic violence.

Our Program Offerings

Individual Therapy- TAY 18-24 years old who are currently in a SDYS housing program and are at risk of losing their housing due to domestic violence.

Group Therapy/Case Management- TAY 18-24 years old who are currently in a SDYS program and would benefit from enhanced services related to Domestic Violence.

Housing Support- Short Term and Emergency Housing Assistance (1-3 months) for TAY 18-24 years old who are currently in a SDYS program and are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

Resiliency Funds- Short Term Financial Assistance (1-3 months) for TAY 18-24 years old. These funds are flexible, based on need and applied for through the program’s Permanency Manager.

Services Offered:

  • Counseling Services
  • Case Management
  • Housing Support
  • Client Advocacy
  • Financial Assistance
  • Linkage to Community Resources

Who Can Refer: SDYS Staff/Volunteers, Community Partners

Eligibility Requirements: Youth must meet the age requirement, be homeless or at risk of homelessness, and have historically or currently be experiencing domestic violence. For a full assessment of eligibility please contact Safe Family Services Permanency Navigator Dayana Tapia at dtapia@sdyouthservices.org

Safe Family Services’ AT Grant will offer supportive, trauma-informed services to SDYS parents and youth who have experienced trauma and abuse that has resulted in CWS involvement, by effectively intervening, through comprehensive evidence – based psychotherapy and case management, before concerns over child abuse and neglect escalate to substantiated cases that require removal from the home. 

Services Offered:

  • Clinical Case Management: Providing comprehensive case management specific to the needs of SDYS parents and youth who have experienced trauma and CWS involvement, such as: support through the CWS process, education on the criminal justice system, and assistance with application for California Victim Compensation Board Claims
  • Therapy Services: Providing evidence-based comprehensive individual, family, group, and crisis-intervention therapy services specific to the needs of SDYS parents and youth who have experienced trauma and CWS involvement. Therapy services are focused on addressing parent/child attachment relationship, child behavior problems, and parenting skills.
  • Training: Offering training for SDYS staff on the CWS process and referral.
  • Outreach/Information and Referral: Providing outreach for AT Grant supportive services to SDYS parents and youth after a CWS report is made. Linkage to information and referral and community resources for SDYS parents and youth.

Who Can Refer: SDYS Staff/Volunteers and Community Partners

Eligibility Requirements: Parents and Youth must be at – risk, already engaged in an SDYS program, and have historically or currently experienced CWS involvement

What is domestic violence?

Domestic violence can take many shapes and forms and can be both physical and emotional. It is a serious threat for anyone impacted. Also called intimate partner violence, domestic violence occurs between people in an intimate relationship and can affect anyone of any age, gender, race or sexual orientation. Domestic violence can happen in heterosexual or same-sex relationships.

Recognizing Domestic Violence in a Relationship

Abusive relationships always involve an imbalance of power and control. An abuser uses intimidating, hurtful words and behaviors to control their partner.

Domestic violence can take many forms, including emotional, sexual, economic and physical abuse and threats of abuse. Sometimes it is hard to recognize, or even admit that you are in an abusive relationship.

Some relationships are clearly abusive from the outset, abuse often starts subtly and gets worse over time. Sometimes it is difficult to know if domestic violence is actually taking place.

You might be experiencing domestic violence if you're in a relationship with someone who:

  • Is slapping, grabbing, hitting, punching, beating, tripping, battering, bruising, choking, shaking, pinching, biting, confining and restraining you.
  • Is threatening or intimidating to gain compliance, destroying your personal property and possessions or threatening to do so, and is constantly harassing you.
  • Forces you to participate in unwanted, unsafe or degrading sexual activity
  • Is withholding economic resources such as money or credit cards.

Don’t Take the Blame

In an abusive relationship, the person who routinely uses these behaviors is the abuser and most often, abusive partners do not take responsibility for their actions. Don’t take the blame. The person on the receiving end is being abused. The longer you stay in an abusive relationship, the greater the physical and emotional toll.

Seeking help is the best way to protect yourself and your children.